Podcast listeners are more open and non-neurotic than non-listeners

People who listen to PODCASTS are more open, intellectually curious, and less neurotic than those who don’t, study finds

  • Podcast listeners are more open and non-neurotic than non-listeners, study says
  • Experts asked over 300 participants questions on their podcast listening habits
  • They then compared them to their personality traits and reasons for listening
  • People did not tune in for mindfulness reasons or due to smartphone addiction 
  • People who listen to podcasts are on average more open, intellectually curious, and less neurotic than those who don’t, a new study has found.

    Researchers said that one-sided relationships and the social engagement of tuning-in were related to positive outcomes for listeners, while people with a higher need to belong were less likely to have listened to a podcast.

    Queensland University of Technology researchers asked more than 300 participants questions on their podcast listening habits and compared them to their personality traits and reasons for listening.  

    People who listen to podcasts are on average more open, intellectually curious, and non-neurotic than non-listeners, a new study has found (stock image)

    People who listen to podcasts are on average more open, intellectually curious, and non-neurotic than non-listeners, a new study has found (stock image)

    The authors wrote in their paper: ‘As predicted, we found that people who were higher in openness to experience, interest type epistemic curiosity, and need for cognition were more likely to have listened to a podcast.

    ‘This indicates that those who listen to podcasts have stronger informational needs. 

    ‘These findings are consistent with past research which found that openness, curiosity, or need for cognition was associated with use of other new technologies and using online platforms for informational purposes.’ 

    Researchers said that, contrary to their predictions, those who listened to podcasts did not do so for mindfulness reasons or because of smartphone addiction. 

    They added: ‘Participants who were higher in need to belong were less likely to have listened to a podcast. 

    ‘Furthermore, when we examined other Big Five factors, we found that participants who were higher in neuroticism were less likely to have listened to a podcast. 

    ‘These two findings help to differentiate podcast listening from social media use, which is positively associated with the need to belong and neuroticism.’

    The aim of their study was to identify predictors of podcast listening and examine the associations between aspects of podcast listening and psychological outcomes. 

    Participants from a range of countries were asked to complete an online questionnaire that assessed the ‘Big Five’ personality factors – including curiosity, need for cognition, need to belong, age, and gender – and aspects of podcast listening, such as the amount, format, setting and device.

    Researchers said that, contrary to their predictions, those who listened to podcasts did not do so for mindfulness reasons or because of smartphone addiction (stock image)

    Researchers said that, contrary to their predictions, those who listened to podcasts did not do so for mindfulness reasons or because of smartphone addiction (stock image)

    It also looked at potential reasons for listening to a podcast, including autonomy, competence, relatedness, meaning, mindfulness, and smartphone addiction. 

    The researchers said that openness to experience, interest-based curiosity and need for cognition positively predicted podcast listening.  

    Men were also more likely to have tuned-in to a podcast than women, which is consistent with other studies that have found that similar gender differences in podcast listening. 

    The experts found people didn’t tune in to feel more autonomous, competent, related or meaningful, despite believing this might be the case.

    Overall, researchers said their findings support the idea that informational motives can play a role in podcast listening, and that some aspects of listening are associated with positive outcomes. 

    In conclusion, they wrote: ‘Together, these findings suggest that informational needs rather than social or emotional needs may be more relevant motivations for podcast listening. 

    ‘This is consistent with past findings that information was a more strongly endorsed motive for podcast listening than other more social motives among regular podcast listeners.’

    The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE

    MUSIC CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD

    Listening to melancholy music can improve a person’s emotional well-being in times of loneliness and distress.  

    Sad songs, in particular, can stir up a mixture of complex and ‘partially positive’ emotions, including nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence and wonder. 

    Upbeat music that you’re not consciously aware that you’re listening to typically have no affect on how you feel.

    But actively seeking out happiness through music can sometimes improve your health and relationship satisfaction. 

    Research has also found that listening to fast-paced, energetic music can increase the perceived spiciness of food by up to ten per cent.  

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